In 2014, the Yindjibarndi Aboriginal Corporation (YAC) purchased the Victoria Hotel in Roebourne for more than $2 million, as a commitment to improving the quality of life of its people based in Roebourne through the creation of economic opportunities.
This commitment resulted in an innovative partnership between YAC and the Federal and State governments to transform the ageing historic building.
A creative Procurement Plan, incorporating an Aboriginal Engagement and Employment Model to support local Aboriginal employment and contract opportunities, has led to outstanding results, including project targets for Aboriginal employment hours being exceeded more than four times over.
Among those working on the major renovation and reconstruction of the hotel were inmates from the Roebourne Regional Prison through the Department of Justice; school-based trainees from Roebourne District High School; and participants registered with the local Community Development Program provider.
In addition, YAC contracted a joint venture between the Geraldton Building and Services Company (GBSC) and Yurra, a Pilbara-based Aboriginal contracting and services company, to deliver the project.
Representing cultural and entrepreneurial opportunity, the Victoria Hotel, to be formally opened as the Ganalili Centre in 2019-20, also reflects self-empowerment and the power of collaboration.
In June 2019, the project was awarded a Bronze Award in 'Best Practice in Collaboration Between Government and Non-Government Organisations' from the Institute of Public Administration Australia.
The WEB Business Hub, opened in October 2018 by the Minister for Regional Development, is a purpose-built facility iin the heart of Port Hedland's historic West End that provides flexible co-working accommodation and tailor-made innovation programs to encourage entrepreneurship and support new and existing small businesses.
Together with The Edge in Newman and the Karratha Enterprise Hub, The WEB is one of three business innovation centres established in the Pilbara by the State Government through the Pilbara Development Commission, designed to work together to accelerate small business growth and development in the region.
The WEB's service-based programs focus on management, financial, training and technology support to enable businesses to develop and enhance their long-term sustainability.
The new facility comprises seven private offices, of which all are leased to local businesses; a co-working area with 11 hot desks; a dedicated workspace with a further 12 desks; three meeting rooms; and multifunctional indoor and outdoor event spaces.
A total of 23 Pilbara businesses were contracted as part of the construction of The WEB, with 60% of the furnishings for the facility fit-out purchased from local businesses.
The WEB's mission is to be at the forefront of business development and innovation for the Pilbara region.
For example, in early 2019, The WEB partnered with METS Ignited to livestream the Workforce 2025 learning event, thus providing Pilbara businesses with an insight around future workforce innovation through engaging in an ongoing dialogue around practical next steps to address and respond to the changing workforce and Industry 4.0.
WEB's programming aims to support businesses in the Pilbara and create a
narrative and conversation around a collective vision for Hedland's
workforce in 2025.
This will be fostered through further understanding of changing workforce cultures, digitally enhanced operation models and the enhancement of 'soft skills' in collaboration and problem solving leading to a more agile and responsive small business sector.
The $15.7 million Paraburdoo Sports, Fitness and Community Complex represents the biggest investment in community infrastructure in Paraburdoo in 30 years.
Opened on 21 June 2019, the complex will benefit the Paraburdoo community for years to come while also breathing new life into the town centre.
The project was funded a total of $10.7 million by project partners Shire of Ashburton and Rio Tinto, with the State Government contributing a further $5 million through the Pilbara Development Commission.
The complex includes a new multipurpose sports court and refurbished courts, the repurposing of an existing sports pavilion into the Karingal Neighbourhood Centre, a purpose-built gym, pool side amenities, oval amenities, installation of a permanent softball diamond, improvements to the lesser hall and conversion of club rooms for storage.
The new gym will serve as an emergency centre during cyclones, while the repurposing of the existing pavilion into the Karingal Neighbourhood Centre, has enabled improvements to disability access and availability of mental health and counselling services.
New community and health services to be provided at the facility include child health nurses, counselling, physiotherapists and specialist education programs.
In September 2018, the Commission, in partnership with FORM, hosted more than 220 delegates from across Australia to a first-of-its-kind Creative and Cultural Forum in Newman in the East Pilbara.
The forum, which was opened by the Minister for Culture and the Arts, was initiated by the Commission in recognition of the important role the creative and cultural sector can play in diversifying the Pilbara economy as a creator of employment and new economic growth.
Delegates represented a broad cross section drawn from local and State Government, Aboriginal corporations and art centres, industry and business and included artists, change-makers, Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal creative practitioners, legislators and cultural personnel from across the Pilbara, the State and the country.
Held over three days with a total of 12 events featuring 44 sessions and more than 39 speakers, the forum covered subjects such as creative and artistic strategy; cultural tourism opportunities; place branding, caring for country; public art; and examples of best practice approaches when working with cultural content and regional communities.
The forum recognised that in an environment the size and complexity of the Pilbara, successful creative and cultural outcomes depend on collaboration and community. And not only are creativity and culture vital to economic diversification, they are also central to the identity and inclusiveness of a community. As the Minister for Culture and the Arts, Hon. David Templeman MLA, noted in his opening speech, “the creative elements of our culture are vital to who we are and who we want to be.”
FORM Executive Director Lynda Dorrington said the forum's program was driven by a need to provide alternative models of thinking and practice to present back to the region's creative and cultural sector, its capacity and its opportunities for growth.
As an initial consultation point, the forum has formed the basis for the Commission's development of a Pilbara Creative and Cultural Strategy, which is to be released in 2019-20. The strategy builds on the foundations of the creative and cultural sector, setting out actions and strategies to ensure that the sector grows into a prominent, valued and valuable part of the Pilbara.
All videos of the presentations are available on www.pilbaracreativeforum.com.au